Fort Worth

Tornado threat increases Saturday as storms fire up west of Fort Worth

A line of thunderstorms moved into Tarrant County bringing heavy rain, strong winds and small hail with it.

The greatest threats were quarter-size hail and 60 mph wind gusts and flash flood warning was in effect for southeastern Tarrant County until 4:45 p.m.

A tornado watch for most of North Texas, including Tarrant and Dallas counties, is in effect until 5 p.m.

The severe threat was shifting into Central and East Texas where residents will need to pay attention, said Bianca Villanueva, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

“All modes of severe weather are possible. Damaging winds, hail and a few tornadoes are all possible as we heat up today.”

Nickel-sized hail was reported in Denton at noon.

Earlier Saturday, the Storm Prediction Center has expanded the enhanced risk (3 on a scale of 5) of severe weather westward to include Fort Worth and Tarrant County.

The expanded area indicates where severe storms could develop on Saturday. Not everyone in that area will see severe storms.

“Primary change with this outlook is to expand tornado probabilities, including significant tornado probability, west across North TX in advance of on-going supercells with a history of strong low-level rotation and tornadoes,” the Storm Prediction Center said.

The Abilene Reporter-News has reported wind damage to homes and structures in parts of Abilene area Saturday morning. There were reports of videos of a tornado hitting Ballinger, about 190 miles southwest of Fort Worth, early Saturday.

If isolated cells develop ahead of the main line, those storms could have a greater threat to become severe.

If the storms move slowly, the flooding threat will also increase.

“We can’t rule out flooding in some areas,” Villanueva said.

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